Was the overplayed television moment truly a turning point in the Iraq invasion or was it myth-making by the media?
On April 9, 2003, less than a month after the US invasion of Iraq had begun, television screens around the world broadcast an event taking place in Firdos Square, at the centre of Baghdad.
The footage showed a statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down amidst a crowd of cheering Iraqis and triumphant American soldiers.
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For me, it was just an event that was preceded by a lot of blood and death and violence and killing in combat. And that is the disconnect that frustrates me so much. A symbolic media clip versus the reality ...
The pictures fit neatly alongside the spin from the Bush White House – it symbolised the end of a war that in fact had only just begun.
Since then, analysts have theorised that the event was a classic example of military manipulation of the media, but the reality is much more complex.
“Twenty-four hour news is a giant echo chamber, and when you introduce something that is a partial truth or a myth, it bounces around this echo chamber and creates a universal truth that people accept. The statue of Saddam Hussein comes tumbling down, you replay it thousands of times within a few hours, and that is the image that you get,” said Rageh Omaar, ITV News correspondent.
In 2013, 10 years after that made-for-TV moment grabbed headlines around the world, we went back to analyse the event, the media coverage of it and the symbolism of the pictures.
Was it truly a turning point in the invasion or myth-making by the media? Some say the footage was overplayed but was it over-interpreted too?
The Listening Post’s Nicholas Muirhead looks at the fall of Saddam Hussein’s statue: Why did the story play out the way it did?